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St. Louis County council wants restaurant occupancy limits increased to at least 50% during pandemic

Currently, restaurants can operate at 25% capacity in St. Louis County
Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County council members want the county executive and department of public health to increase restaurant occupancy limits amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The council members sent a resolution to St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and the department of public health to work with restaurants in the county to increase occupancy limits to at least 50% and identify and/or provide whatever interim support they can until they can resume in full operation.

Currently, dine-in restaurants can occupy 25% of their capacity.

The resolution said restaurants employ more than 67,000 people in St. Louis County, which is 10% of the entire workforce.

Many restaurants have not been able to offer carry out service and do not have exterior space to take advantage of outside dining in order to make up for inside capacity and seasonal temperatures will soon eliminate outdoor seating for restaurants that currently offer it, the resolution added.

“Well, we're in constant communication with all industry stakeholders from the youth sports industry to restaurants and other retail to hotels. We're in constant communication with them for a pathway to expand their capacity that keeps people safe,” Page said during a Wednesday morning briefing.

Page added that they’re preparing for the winter months.

“We're in a better place in St. Louis County than the rest of the state and many places in the country. And we're getting ready to go into the winter months where the stakes are high. The risk is high and we expect to see more of it. So we're trying to prepare for that. We have great partners in the community,” Page said.

Multiple restaurants in the county have closed permanently since the pandemic began. Those include: 5 Star Burgers in Creve Coeur, Cousin Hugo’s in Maplewood, Cork Wine Bar in Ferguson, Cusanelli’s in Lemay, Half & Half in Webster Groves and more.

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